David Hatami is a sophomore majoring in political science.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself — any clubs, hobbies or major plans for the future?
“I’ve been quite involved on campus since my freshman year because I think it’s always important to give back to a community that you gain so much from. I’ve been a [Student Association (SA)] congressional representative for two years now, representing College-in-the-Woods as a freshman and Dickinson Community now. For both years I’ve sat on the Internal Affairs Committee, where I’ve helped review constitutions and approve new clubs. I’ve also been involved with Model [United Nations], Muslim Student Association (MSA), Asian Student Union, College Democrats and Pipe Dream, where I write for the Opinions section. In my free time, I like to ski, play chess and find new music.”
2. What is your platform?
“We need to make Binghamton University a place where everyone, regardless of race, religion or sexual identity, can feel comfortable. As [vice president for multicultural affairs], I first would like to forge a strong, positive relationship between the student body and administration; paving the way for a cultural sensitivity training program for faculty and [Binghamton’s New York State University Police], so that students no longer feel as alienated as they may do on campus. Beyond this, I hope to increase funding for campus mental health resources, expand the halal station and other on-campus cultural food sites, encourage greater collaboration between cultural organizations and bring about greater general student cultural awareness.”
3. Why did you decide to run for an SA E-Board position?
“With recent campus incidents in mind, it’s become evident that competent campus leadership is needed more than ever before. I’m running because I know I’ll be a strong, effective and reliable representative for cultural organizations on campus and for students as a whole. As a Muslim, I believe that many underrepresented groups on campus are in need of greater resources and attention such as the [MSA] — I will bring the change that these organizations need. I hope to continue the hard work Khaleel James has put into this office — to be as good of a resource that he’s been.”
4. What issues will you prioritize if you are elected?
“A big issue for first-generation immigrants is that their cultures and upbringings fail to stress the importance of mental health. This is a problem which I have experienced not only myself but that I have seen in my friends as well. I see it as imperative to coerce the University into increasing funding for mental health resources on campus, such as the University Counseling Center. However, I would like to make mental health resources especially accessible to marginalized communities on campus, through initiatives in creating new health resources and spreading mental health information.”